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Raspberry Pi-Compatible Development Board Released

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the chips-and-dips dept.

Hardware Hacking 47

kodiaktau writes: Hardkernel has released a new Raspberry Pi-compatible development board based on the Samsung Exynos SoC. The board is smaller than a typical Pi, keeping basic HDMI, USB and CSI interfaces. It also has a 26-pin expansion board with more GPIO available, though it lacks an Ethernet jack. Initial prices as estimated around $30. The article makes the interesting point that this and other devices are marketed as "Raspberry Pi-compatible." The Raspberry Pi Foundation may run into name retention issues (similar to the ones Arduino had) as related hardware piggybacks on its success.

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NOT Samsung Exynos (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568081)

The ODROID-W board uses the same Broadcom 2835 SoC as the Raspberry Pi board, that's why it's 100% software compatible.

There's also a Smart Watch [youtube.com] implementation based on it.

Re:NOT Samsung Exynos (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 5 months ago | (#47568381)

And it's too bad, too. The Raspberry Pi is a really neat little device, but the CPU performance limitations are really tough for a lot of use cases. As I read the description, I was excited at the idea of having an Exynos with modern ARM processors at the $30 pricepoint, but... nope.

Re:NOT Samsung Exynos (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47573195)

So you want to have your cake and eat it to is what you're saying?

The lack of CPU power isn't just to save money, it's to make it more efficient. Getting a faster CPU very well could make battery and solar not an option and therefor reduce use-cases far more than the lack of cycles does. About the only big use case that it fails on because of the CPU is the MediaPC angle. And there are alternatives for that all over the place.

http://www.solid-run.com/wiki/... [solid-run.com]
http://www.bananapi.org/p/prod... [bananapi.org]
Keep in mind, both of those use at least double the power as a standard RPI. If you're running them on AC or in your car, no big deal... but not so hot for science experiments or weather balloons.

Re:NOT Samsung Exynos (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 6 months ago | (#47575451)

The description says an Exynos SoC for $30. The description is incorrect. Is it really so insane to have hoped that the information in the description was accurate?

Re:NOT Samsung Exynos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47574603)

...wait wut? You realize for quite a long time an 8bit microcontroller (68HC11) was commonly used in MANY ECUs(engine controller units) by many companies with minimal RAM right?

Anyways, for what they're pushing onto the pi for a pseudo desktop type of thing, it is severely under equipped with RAM and basicperformance, but in specific applications? Come on you should be able to unload all that extra crap and have plenty of RAM/power, and that would still be with an appropriately stripped down linux implementation, and if you dump linux altogether either for your own basic OS or no real OS at all, you've got plenty of resources to work with, and you should STILL be able to cobble together a decent little GUI if you insist, just not X11 + all sorts of extra crap. (RISCOS when I tried it a couple years ago ran OK, I guess(1st I used it), but man that GUI was a blast from the 80s as in the 80s called and wanted their GUI back...)

But yeah, getting back to the more desktopish type of thing, the rpi is a joke at that although I imagine if they stripped it down to something the agenda VR3, sharp zaurus, iPaq, etc. linux distros used e.g. what was fltk and there was even a stripped down X11 that still had most of the useful functions in place, plus there was another display server that was used but the name escapes me ATM and all of these devices had slower ARM/MIPS w/8-32MB of RAM, but I digress.

So, Anyways, yeah as some sort of useable desktopish thing they really needed at least a -a8 + 2GB RAM but it'd still be slow compared to almost any x86 as ARM just isn't all that awesome of a CPU arch, even AMD still does a better job and they're no longer any great shakes at CPU design...

Re:NOT Samsung Exynos (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 6 months ago | (#47575467)

Realize what now? The description said an Exynos for $30, and it isn't.

The Pi is too slow to do things at which it would otherwise be well suited, like for digital signage applications. A cheap little machine that can be stuck on the back of a TV doing nothing but running a fullscreen web browser would be handy.

But does it run Windowes? (-1, Troll)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 5 months ago | (#47568089)

Windowes is the standard Operating System (OS) for microcomputers and anything that does not run the standard is just a toy or a curiosity.

Re:But does it run Windowes? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568241)

Shesh... This is slashdot and we are discussing the Pi, Micro$oft is the enemy, and Window$ is the reason...

Attention Cow-Ard (0)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 5 months ago | (#47568309)

Sir, your key board may be malfunctioning on the "S" key, please debug it before transmitting any more bits on the inter-Net. Also your mother is a toad.

Re:Attention Cow-Ard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568439)

If you are running window$, how do you know it'$ not cau$ed by Internet Explorer?

Re: But does it run Windowes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568399)

Mmmmm irony.

Pi has poor flash file system (2)

rfengr (910026) | about 5 months ago | (#47568091)

Call me when they develop a reliable file system for sd-card flash memory. I have had nothing but trouble with the Pi.

Re:Pi has poor flash file system (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568201)

The Raspberry Pi suffers from poor power stabilization and distribution. Brownouts cause the problems with SD card storage. The file system can't do much about hardware problems.

The new Pi has a redesigned power supply (2)

Marrow (195242) | about 5 months ago | (#47568771)

Maybe that will solve the problems. The form factor is a little different though, so not all the old toys work.

Re:Pi has poor flash file system (1)

redelm (54142) | about 5 months ago | (#47568565)

Ring ... Ring ... I'm calling as you requested.

My RPi is rock solid -- months of uptime, reboot only to upgrade. Two helpful factors (1) High quality microUSB power supplies (I also feed through a lipstick for UPS) (2) RPi ModelA (no ether, single USB) for lower power consumption.

On the filesys, anything with `noatime` should be good to cut the write-cycles. Personally, I don't like journalling.

Re:Pi has poor flash file system (1)

MoonlessNights (3526789) | about 5 months ago | (#47569983)

I have never had problems with my Pi, either (Model B). It is powered by a USB port on my Odroid-U3. All that is attached to it is ethernet and the USB UART connector to the Odroid's serial interface.

I have never had problems with it and, when I am running my stress tests on it, the load average gets up to around 30 for about 20 minutes so it is sustained activity on the CPU and RAM (although I never use its GPU for anything, so maybe that helps). I also do wonder of the power draw of some of those USB WiFi dongles, since they probably need a lot.

In terms of filesystems (these are just partitions on the SD), my root is just the Raspbian default (which I think is ext4) but my write-heavy file system where my tests run is BtrFS, which is supposed to do better on such devices.

Re:Pi has poor flash file system (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 6 months ago | (#47572487)

Well if you hardly ever reboot, then of course you won't have problems. (Just so long as you don't wear out the flash used for /tmp and /var/log

The whole point, as raised in the observation about crappy SD-card + power regulation is that when the board experiences power failures, then it is likely to corrupt its filesystem. Since your board doesn't suffer from outages, it's no surprise you don't have these issues.

Re:Pi has poor flash file system (1)

Paul Becker (3487911) | about 6 months ago | (#47571499)

One thing I've found helpful is to use the distro called IPE. It has a read-only filesystem and doesn't care much about power problems.

Here's a novel idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568127)

Instead of making yet another "Raspberry Pi clone", none of which turn out to be compatible in any meaningful way, perhaps you could make something that is better than a Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi is actually pretty shit (with two exceptions, price and GPU), so there is room for improvement. Use it!

Re:Here's a novel idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568215)

I'd add 'support' to the plus points of the rpi, there are 2.5 million of them out there and lots of ready-to-go software, it's become a 'standard' platform to port to.
Yea, the SoC is getting old, but it's very thrifty with battery use and it's nice to have options.

Re:Here's a novel idea (3, Informative)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 5 months ago | (#47568279)

BeagleBone Black is that board. Better GPIO, no broken USB stack and other Broadcom SOC BS.

Without Ethernet, I don't see how this is supposed to be competitive against RPi considering that TI has the nice EK-TM4C1294XL [ti.com] Tiva C Series Connected Launchpad for $20.

Re:Here's a novel idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568437)

The TI board is an ARM M4 microcontroller with 256K RAM, not even in the same league.

Re:Here's a novel idea (1)

fnj (64210) | about 6 months ago | (#47571021)

I second the endorsement of the Beaglebone Black. Note that it is ARMv7 with a proper openly documented TI CPU, compared to the crappy RPi which is ARMv6 with the locked-up Broadcom abortion.

I was crushed when they discontinued the original $45 BB rev and slipstreamed the "improved" $55 rev C with more flash and RAM. I consider the added flash and RAM to be completely wasted and pointless, but I recognize that the $45 price point was just a bit unsustainable. They should have just admitted overoptimism and raised it to $47 or $49 without touching the specs.

But let's face it, even for $55 it is far and away the best choice out there. ARMv7 with Thumb2 is properly supported by mainline Debian, unlike ARMv6 with Thumb1. The latter is really only a dead end of limited historical interest.

Re:Here's a novel idea (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 6 months ago | (#47572515)

The world has moved on since the BBB was the game in town.

Now there are much better boards (though maybe not all with the BBB's size) that, unlike the BBB support audio in & out, have more RAM, dual-core processor and more flexible power options.

Some of the new generation boards also make the BBB look quite expensive - both for what you get and in absolute terms.

Re:Here's a novel idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568299)

Instead of making yet another "Raspberry Pi clone", none of which turn out to be compatible in any meaningful way, perhaps you could make something that is better than a Raspberry Pi.

Have you looked at the seller's website? Seems they've got some pretty nice improvements to the Pi going with their "docking" card. If you spend $25 or so, you can get everything the Pi has (less the composite video and sound connections) in addition to 4 USB ports, 1 USB host port, a RTC and a miniSD card slot. Spend another $20 and you get a color TFTP display too. I think they've got a good start on improving the Pi here...

Re:Here's a novel idea (3, Informative)

Anon-Admin (443764) | about 5 months ago | (#47568391)

As much as I hate to say it, have you looked at the Banana Pi? Dual core 1ghz A20 with a gig of ram, sata port, etc, etc, etc.

I did a review of them not long ago at http://www.xganon.com/index.ph... [xganon.com]

Re:Here's a novel idea (1)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about 5 months ago | (#47568563)

Excellent, exactly what the Pi 2.0 should be. Good find.

Re:Here's a novel idea (1)

John Bokma (834313) | about 5 months ago | (#47570599)

typos: Single borad computer & Reapberry Pi & Respberry & Pi Raspbery Pi & SATA is 2T not 2G. I almost have the feeling you did some (bad) SEO... Anyway, thanks, I like to stay somewhat up to date with SBC. My current favorite is the CubieTruck, though.

Re:Here's a novel idea (1)

Anon-Admin (443764) | about 6 months ago | (#47571319)

Guess I owe you one John, Thanks for pointing that out.

The 2G in place of 2T could have been me, I have made that one a few times, the ones I can not explain are the various spellings of Raspberry Pi. I am wondering if the SEO plug-in I installed had anything to do with it.

Re:Here's a novel idea (1)

CaptainOfSpray (1229754) | about 6 months ago | (#47572739)

Banana Pi has one serious problem. The GPIO etc connectors have a non-standard pitch (not 0.1 mm). No industry-standard connector/shield/daughter-board fits onto it. AVOID.

Re:Here's a novel idea (1)

Anon-Admin (443764) | about 6 months ago | (#47573441)

That is not my findings, I have plugged a 26 pin cable into the connector and ran it to a breakout board without an issue. The only issue I have run into with the connector was the fact that the composite out port is too close to the 26 pin connector for the daughter cards.

Re:Here's a novel idea (2)

MoonlessNights (3526789) | about 5 months ago | (#47569901)

Their main products (if you look at their web site) are much more substantial.

I am writing this while using Ubuntu on one of their Odroid-U3 devices, right now. It is a great little machine. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a low-power, low-cost, small ARM Linux machine.

Re:Here's a novel idea (1)

don.g (6394) | about 5 months ago | (#47570237)

Price, availability, and community. What software (distros, etc) is available for this week's raspberry pi killer? What will be available in a year's time?

What is the price? (1)

greenwow (3635575) | about 5 months ago | (#47568261)

If they refuse to tell us the price, then we obviously cannot buy it. I guess they don't want to actually sell this item. It's just a dishonest PR stunt.

Re:What is the price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568411)

Look harder, Card is $30 plus shipping.

Also, look harder and you will see that they also provide a "docking" card that gives you Ethernet, 4 USB ports in addition to the microSD slot and RTC. All this pushes the price to about $60.

Re:What is the price? (1)

greenwow (3635575) | about 5 months ago | (#47570403)

I don't understand why your kind refuses to tell the truth. That page says it will cost "about" that amount in large quantities. That doesn't tell us what it costs. I don't understand why you're defending morons who do such thing. They hate hobbyists and always screw us with their 1,000% or more profit margin one-off prices.

Again I ask, is there anyone willing to tell the truth about the price?

Re:What is the price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47570427)

It is very telling when a company lies like this about the price of a product. They want the hype of a reasonably priced product without actually having to provide something reasonably priced. Companies like these need to be put out of business. They're not a US company so our typical expectation of a company operating ethically doesn't apply, but these guys are bordering on simply dishonest.

Re:What is the price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47570451)

I emailed them, and they called me obscenities for asking the price. These guys are nothing but crooked scammers.

Real time clock (1)

xonen (774419) | about 5 months ago | (#47568671)

The board integrates a real time clock. This makes it ideal in remote, disconnected or power-safe configurations. From a wild-life camera to an embedded dishwasher controller. Being compatible, low-cost, running Linux and 'just works an community supported' is a big plus. I'd say, bring more of those clones.

Re:Real time clock (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 6 months ago | (#47572523)

Yup. Smaller, better, cheaper. This is exactly what the RPi people should have been developing for the past 2 years.

That's not a Exynos SoC (3, Informative)

phoenix_rizzen (256998) | about 5 months ago | (#47568727)

What makes this thing truly "Raspberry Pi-compatible" is that it uses the same Broadcom SoC. There's nothing Samsung about this thing.

Re:That's not a Exynos SoC (1)

hattig (47930) | about 6 months ago | (#47572773)

The article even makes the clear. How the submitter misread that is beyond me.

The advantages of this board: Smaller. eMMC connector. ADC. RTC. Better power management. Small LCD module option ($30 incl. usb hub and ethernet).
Disadvantages: USB/Ethernet on a different board ($20), connectors sold separately ($4).

The RPi B+ resolves the power management issue.

The advantage of being compatible is that the software support for the RPi is actually very good, and there is a massive community.

NOT A Samsung SoC! (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 5 months ago | (#47568833)

WTF Slashdot editors? It says plain as day right on the product page that it's a Broadcom SoC.

this is brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568889)

rtc, battery support and form factor... and price. great!

god I wish it were a samsung soc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47569255)

The broadcom soc used in the rpi is the biggest, slowest, most power hungry, crashy piece of shit. The samsung socs are much better.

First? (1)

dohzer (867770) | about 6 months ago | (#47571825)

How did this take so long? Why is this the first?

Re:First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47572327)

Because everyone who builds a cheap ARM based Linux widget wants to differentiate their product from the 'Pi.

After all it's not that great a platform when you get into it - a BeagleBoard is a much better device

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